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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A match-up against perennial Pac-12 power Cal and a showdown with former Big West-rival Utah State highlight a 14-game home schedule for the 2013-14 UC Santa Barbara men's basketball team and season tickets are available now.
Prices for Gaucho men's basketball season tickets start at just $123 and can be combined with women's basketball season tickets for as low as $198. Basketball season tickets are one of the best values and for more information, call the UCSB ICA Ticket Office at 805-893-UCSB or online by clicking here.
The Dec. 6 game against Cal, which will be one of the favorites to win the Pac-12, will be the first Santa Barbara match-up between the schools since Nov. 30, 1979 – the first game ever played in the Thunderdome.
Utah State, which moves from the Western Athletic Conference into the Mountain West Conference this season, is a consistent NCAA Tournament team. The programs had an outstanding rivalry when they were both in the Big West Conference and it continued with several great games even after the Aggies left the league following the 2004-05 season.
The Gauchos and Aggies will square off on Nov. 16.
On Nov. 29, UCSB will host South Dakota State, a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2013. The other non-conference home games include the regular season opener against Hawaii-Pacific on Nov. 8 and a Jan. 4 game against The Master's College. The Gauchos will preview the season on Nov. 3 with an exhibition game against Cal State East Bay.
Santa Barbara will waste no time getting after it against rivals when it opens Big West play. The first two games of the league schedule will be at home against Cal Poly on Jan. 11 and Long Beach State on Jan. 16.
The Gauchos will return virtually every key player from a youthful 2013 team. First Team All-Big West forward Alan Williams averaged 17.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per game as a sophomore and will lead the team as a junior. Senior guard Kyle Boswell was the league's Sixth Man of the Year, averaging 13.0 points per game off the bench and making 78 three-pointers. Sophomore wings Taran Brown (11.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game) and Michael Bryson (8.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game and 29 points vs. Pacific in the Big West Tournament) will also be expected to play major roles.
In addition to returning its top four scorers, UCSB will return guards T.J. Taylor (4.8 points and a team-leading 4.1 assists per game) and Duke DaRé, and forwards Keegan Hornbuckle, Sam Beeler, Mitch Brewe and Shawn Moore.
The Gauchos will add two players to their active roster who redshirted in 2012-13.
Forward John Green, expected to be the team's top newcomer each of the last two years before suffering season-ending foot injuries, is healthy and will immediately step-in to a major role. He will be joined by freshman guard Aamahd Walker, a big time scorer who redshirted the 2012-13 campaign.
A trio of new recruits will also join the fray.
Junior point guard Zalmico "Z" Harmon, a native of Washington D.C., and a product of Ventura College, could step into the starting lineup right away. He was last year's Western State Conference Player of the Year and a First Team All-State selection after leading VC to the California State Tournament. Another point guard, freshman Eric Childress, joins the Gauchos after an outstanding career at Leuzinger High School. He will compete for playing time right away. Also expected to make his presence known is freshman forward Alex Hart, a native of Kelowna, British Columbia, who will not turn 18 until December. Even at 6-foot-10, he is a tremendous offensive player and huge three-point shooting threat.